Top 5 bars in… Austin, Texas

23rd May, 2018 by admin

Austin may have a worldwide reputation as one of the best cities for live music in the US, but its cocktail scene has become a real talking point in recent times, boosted by an influx of talented bartenders. By James Lawrence.

*This feature was originally published in the January 2018 issue of The Spirits Business

Once derided as a brash city full of cheap shots and louche clubs, Austin’s cocktail scene has exploded over the past five years, attracting raw talent from all over the US, and even the globe. Indeed, the self-proclaimed ‘weird’ city can now compete with the best, which is all the more remarkable considering the strict liquor laws that have straitjacketed the Texas state capital for many years.

However, while recent innovations, new upscale lounges and an influx of expert bartenders have kept things exciting, Austin is still mainly renowned as the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’. Today, more than 200 venues compete for attention, with many offering live music shows throughout the week. The longest-­running include Broken Spoke, Cactus Cafe, Stubb’s Bar-­B­Q and The Continental Club, although Austin’s nightlife has become far less centralised in recent times.

There are now pockets of excitement throughout the city – everything from the refined to the insane. Austin is also one of the few cities where leading cocktail bars proclaim ‘No Firearms’ at their doors, but you are in Texas, after all.

Despite Austin’s new-­found love of diversity, the majority of nightlife is still to be found on the infamous Sixth Street. There are three sections: West, East and what locals refer to as ‘Dirty’, which, as you’d expect, is full of dive bars, stag parties and less­-than­-salubrious destinations.

But whether you love it or loathe it, Sixth Street remains one of the most iconic streets in Austin, and a central part of this beguiling city’s incredible music scene.

Click through the following pages to discover the top five bars in Austin, Texas.

Leave a Reply